TechSpot

Latest Features

  • The History of the Microprocessor and the Personal Computer

    By Graham Singer on September 17, 2014

    The personal computing business as we know it owes itself to an environment of enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and happenstance. The invention of the microprocessor, DRAM, and EPROM integrated circuits would help bring computing to the mainstream. This is the first in a five-part series exploring the history of the microprocessor and personal computing, from the invention of the transistor to modern day chips powering our connected devices.
  • The iPhone 6 Is DOA and the iPhone 6 Plus Is the Killer

    By Jeffrey Yuwono on September 10, 2014

    I don't even know why Apple bothered with the iPhone 6, because it will go the way of the iPhone 5C: a niche product; a consolation prize; the budget choice for Apple loyalists; something you get begrudgingly and regret later.
  • Apple and Google Tablets Moving to Microsoft Territory

    By Jeffrey Yuwono on September 04, 2014

    The common refrain has been that tablets are for consumption and that laptops are for productivity, and never the twain shall meet. But it's a different world today, and now Apple and Google want to cross that bridge, too, into Microsoft territory. Apple with the iPad Pro, and Google with the new Nexus.
  • 5 Free Image Editing Solutions Worth a Look

    By Erik Orejuela on August 29, 2014

    Adobe Photoshop has long been the gold standard for image editing among professionals and photo enthusiasts. But for the average user who just wants to touch up the occasional photo, it can be hard to justify the cost and it probably does more way than you really need or care to do. There are plenty of free alternatives and we've rounded out our picks.
  • Soon No One Will Care About a Phone's Battery Life

    By Jeffrey Yuwono on August 28, 2014

    The fear of running out of battery wields such an extraordinary influence over how we use smartphones. We are never too far from a charger, and many of us carry a heavy, cumbersome power bank. I have good news: we are on the verge of true all day battery life.
  • Self-Encrypting Drives: A Brief Introduction and Step by Step Guide

    By Matt Bach on August 22, 2014

    A SED, or self-encrypting drive, is a type of hard drive that automatically and continuously encrypts the data in it without any user interaction. What may surprise many is that a decent potion of the drives currently in the market are in fact SEDs. The method involves a Data Encryption Key that encrypts and decrypts data whenever data is written to the drive or read from it.
  • Price Is the Only Weapon Chromebooks Have Against Windows

    By Jeffrey Yuwono on August 21, 2014

    On an absolute basis, one device is clearly better than the other; but the expectations for what a Chromebook is supposed to do is so much lower that, relatively, Acer's C720 Chromebook feels like a better device than it really is. Asus' popular T100 budget hybrid, on the other hand, gets compared to other Windows laptops (or the iPad Air) and doesn't look as good in the comparison.
  • Six Popular Linux Desktop Environments

    By Himanshu Arora on August 18, 2014

    Unlike Windows and OS X, Linux allows you to fully customize not only the look and feel of your desktop, but also its functionality as well as settings, through different desktop environments. We do a brief overview of the most popular Linux desktop environments to give you an idea about what each has to offer and what suits you the best.
  • The Most Popular Computing Device Has Yet to Be Invented: The 15-Inch Tablet

    By Jeffrey Yuwono on August 14, 2014

    I've wanted to write this for some time, but hadn't because there was no solid data to back-up my assertions. I do now. This is about why I believe the future of tablets (and by extension, computing) is 15-inches in display size, perhaps even 17-inches.
  • How Deus Ex Predicted the Future

    By Richard Wordsworth on August 11, 2014

    Leaving aside its wackier conspiracy theories, it's the quality - the prescience - of Deus Ex's story that makes it such a great game to play in 2014. Somehow, it seems timely: moment after moment of sneering, political philosophising about money, health, corporations and the poor, punctuated by regular, 400-volt jolts of: wait, when was this written?
  • TechSpot PC Buying Guide

    By Steven Walton on August 08, 2014

    The TechSpot PC Buying Guide offers an in-depth list of today's best desktop PC hardware, spanning four unique yet typical budgets.
  • Starting a phone company? Here's a blueprint for success

    By Jeffrey Yuwono on August 07, 2014

    Small Chinese companies like Xiaomi and OnePlus were able to create markets even while competitors like Apple and Samsung spend billions in advertising their smartphones. Their success is a blueprint for others to follow, whether they're running an established smartphone company or starting one.
  • A Steve Ballmer Story That Helps Explain Microsoft

    By Jeffrey Yuwono on August 07, 2014

    The big thing most people misunderstand about Ballmer is that he's unbelievably smart. They see him going crazy on the stage and assume the man is a joke. I can assure you he's anything but.
  • Where to Watch Free Movies and TV Online

    By Simon Hill on August 04, 2014

    The spread of broadband Internet is changing the way we watch TV and movies. A lot of people are cutting the cable company cord or dropping that satellite service in favor of online streaming. If you've been wondering where you can find movies and TV shows to watch for free online without breaking the law, then we've got you covered.
  • Know Your Smartphone: A Guide to Camera Hardware

    By Tim Schiesser on July 28, 2014

    For many people smartphone cameras have replaced standalone point-and-shoots as the go-to device for everyday photography. But just what goes in to making a good smartphone camera? What hardware do companies use? What do pixel sizes and f-stops really mean? In this article I'll be exploring the hardware, key terms associated with photography, and some comparisons along the way.
  • Virtualized Desktops & GPU Acceleration: Is This The Future of Computing?

    By Matt Bach on July 23, 2014

    We take a look some of the more common advantages and disadvantages of virtual desktops, give our general impressions on setting up and using virtual desktops for a variety of uses and make some educated guesses as to whether virtual desktops truly are the future of computing or if they will likely remain a niche technology.
  • A Beginner's Guide to the Linux Command Line, Part II

    By Himanshu Arora on July 14, 2014

    While it may seem antiquated the command line is the most flexible and powerful way to perform tasks in Linux. In the first part of our ongoing command line series, we discussed some of the very basic operations, and now we'll build on that as we discuss more things like file metadata, permissions, timestamps, as well as some new tools like tee, Vim, and more.
  • Debunking a Myth: DDR3 RAM vs. ECC Memory Performance

    By Matt Bach on July 09, 2014

    Much of the ECC versus Non-ECC argument comes down to speed versus reliability. The reliability argument at least is easy to validate, but to settle the question of whether ECC actually lowers system performance, we ran a series of benchmarks with standard RAM, ECC RAM, and Registered ECC RAM that all run at the exact same frequency, timings, and voltage.
  • How to Take Amazing Fireworks Photos

    By Shawn Knight on July 04, 2014

    You don't have to be a professional photographer to snap some amazing pictures of fireworks. All you need is some basic equipment and a little know-how, the latter of which we'll be offering up here today.
  • A Beginner's Guide to the Linux Command Line

    By Himanshu Arora on June 19, 2014

    Do you think of the command line as an antiquated leftover from the past, or an old fashioned way of interacting with a computer? Think again. In Linux, it is the most flexible and powerful way to perform tasks. Let's jump into the basics of the Linux command line including directory navigation, file/directory operations, and more.
  • E3 2014 PC Game Trailer Roundup

    By Matthew DeCarlo on June 13, 2014

    Didn't clear your schedule to track E3? Here are 40 plus PC game trailers from the event along with expected release dates and launch platforms for each title, ordered alphabetically. Some highlights include Batman: Arkham Knight, The Division, Star Wars: Battlefront, Far Cry 4 and the much anticipated PC version of Grand Theft Auto V.
  • Why Game Developers Keep Getting Laid Off

    By Jason Schreier on June 10, 2014

    Over the past few years, we've heard a litany of gloomy stories about layoffs at game development studios. Even mega-publishers regularly downsize, shutting down studios and laying off staff on what seems to be a cyclical basis. Yet, paradoxically, the video game industry is booming. So why is this such a common occurrence?
  • Five Free VPN Services You Should Check Out

    By Erik Orejuela on May 28, 2014

    In general, totally free high quality VPN services are few and far between. The current business model being used by some is to offer a free basic application with the option to upgrade to a paid, more feature rich version. However, for users simply looking for some extra privacy or sporadically accessing a geo-restricted website these free versions get the job done.
  • Building a 4K Ultra HD Gaming PC

    By Mike Fahey on May 08, 2014

    If you've got a gaming PC capable of playing most modern-day games at Ultra settings, there's a good chance it'll be able to handle an Ultra HD monitor. How well it handles an Ultra HD monitor will come down to your graphics hardware. What does it take to put together a 4K-ready gaming PC? That's what we plan to find out.
  • Busted! 7 Myths About Cord Cutting

    By Marcy Bonebright on May 08, 2014

    My household cut the metaphorical cable cord about five years ago, so I've watched this idea evolve in the media from "insane notion" to "cable industry crisis." But the truth is a bit more complicated than that. To help you decide whether cable abandonment is right for you, we're tackling seven major cord-cutting myths.
  • Running Linux From a USB Drive As a Virtual Machine or Bootable Disk

    By Erik Orejuela on April 30, 2014

    There are a number of uses for running Linux from a USB drive, from simply test driving Linux to troubleshooting a Windows PC, or working on the go from someone else's computer. There are basically two ways to go about it: from within Windows using virtualization software such as VirtualBox, or creating a boot disk. This quick guide details both methods in a few easy steps.
  • AMD Low-Power APUs: Beema and Mullins Preview

    By Tim Schiesser on April 29, 2014

    Intel's Bay Trail platform and low-power Haswell offerings may be the go-to choice when it comes to mainstream Windows tablets and laptops, but AMD believes that their next generation chips will be the best. A refinement of their work on APUs in the past few years, the new chips, 'Beema' and 'Mullins', are set to be strong contenders in this segment.
  • Iconic Hardware: Products that Made a Dent on the PC Industry

    By Graham Singer on April 23, 2014

    What makes a product iconic? Design, functionality, styling, and innovation will get you part of the way there, but the true tests are how these products distinguished themselves from their competitors, how widely those traits were subsequently imitated by those competitors, and how history remembers their status.
  • Fire TV vs. Roku vs. Chromecast: Between a set-top box and a streaming stick

    By Simon Hill and Louis Ramirez on April 21, 2014

    As Amazon Fire TV bursts onto the market to compete with streamers like the Roku 3 and Apple TV, you may be wondering what these set-top boxes offer over cheaper streaming sticks, specifically Google's Chromecast and Roku's Streaming Stick.
  • Media Players and Video Formats: A Detailed Battery Life Analysis

    By Tim Schiesser on March 31, 2014

    Video playback is one common case scenario where efficiency is crucial and where a lengthy battery life is an infrequently found godsend. But what you may not realize is that the video player itself, and the format your videos are encoded in, can also have an impact on battery life consumption.